Women in India

Learn More About India

Curious to learn a bit more about India? Here are a few fun facts about one of the world’s largest countries.

India was derived from the River Indus

Map of the River Indus

In ancient times, “India” initially referred to those regions immediately along the east banks of the River Indus. By 300 BC, Greek writers began applying the term to the entire subcontinent that extends much farther eastward.

India was once an island

Aerial view of the Himalayan mountain range

More than 100 million years ago, India was its own island. About 50 million years ago the India continental plate collided with Asia, and created the Himalayan mountain range. The plate on which India rests continues to press slowly north, which is why the height of Mount Everest increases slightly every year.

India is a country of many different languages

Women in India

The 1961 census of India listed 1,652 languages, though some of these may have been dialects and smaller languages that have died out since then. There are 6 big languages spoken in India – Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, and Urdu.

India has three of the world’s top ten megacities

Picture of Delhi

According to the UN, Delhi is now the second-largest urban agglomeration in the world, with Mumbai ranked seventh and Calcutta tenth. In Delhi alone, the annual growth rate is over 3%, about 700,000 people.

India is mango heaven

An Indian vendor selling mangoes

India is the world’s biggest producer and consumer of mangoes. Did you know it takes roughly 28.5 gallons of water to grow an ounce of this tasty fruit? India’s official national fruit comes in several hundred varieties, and more than 30 varieties are available commercially. More than 40% of the world’s annual output of mangoes are grown in India.



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Town along the ganges river bank

Ganges Background

The Ganges river, also referred to as the Ganga, is known as the sacred river of India. Starting in the Himalayan mountain range, the Ganges stretches 2,700 km through northern India and Bangladesh before reaching the Bay of Bengal.

Ganges River

Ganges River

Source: Britannica Kids

The Ganges is described is sacred texts as the ‘best of rivers, born of all the sacred waters’. It is an important part of Hindu pilgrimage and is a common site to spread ashes of the cremated or perform ritual bathing.

In addition, the Ganges has been providing hydration for centuries. Its fertile soil is beneficial for agriculture, and its water serves as a source of irrigation to the surrounding area. Rice, sesame, sugarcane and millets are some among the varieties of crops that can be grown along the river. Today, the Ganges is a source of life for the nearly 400 million people living near its basin. It is a valuable source of water for drinking, food, irrigation, and manufacturing.